GP 0844 0870 No No

UK Doctors have been asked to refrain from using premium rate phone numbers that charge patients extra for phoning their GP usually to make an appointment.

The Department of Health has advised GP surgeries not to renew existing contracts where premium rate phone numbers are currently being used, many of which operate on a shared revenue basis which allows those employing 0844 or 0870 number to claw back some of higher per minute costs that the caller is charged.

Many 0870 numbers ,which can cost from 7.9p a minute  whilst 0844 numbers are typically from 4p per minute. Both are popular with businesses precisely because of this revenue sharing model though many callers may be unaware of the higher cost of calling such numbers until they receive their phone bill.

Say no to 0870 website

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2 thoughts on “GP 0844 0870 No No

  1. Hi there,
    Your blog is very thought provoking. My thoughts are now provoked and it isn’t as painful as you might expect. The use of phone lines for things other than for what they were intended has always irritated me (I loathe the TV phone based competitions and the way they are used now for fund-raising) and whilst premium rate numbers do have a place in this world, it is not for obtaining an appt with your GP as part of the NHS not really what one thinks of as a premium rate service and certainly not fair on those who tend to need recourse to a GP most often ie the elderly and those living in poor housing.
    Thanks for making me think. haha actually you made me think that time travelling back to a time before 0870 numbers existed might be quite good!

  2. Eight years later and a number of GP practices and hospitals are still using these premium numbers. This despite a ban by the Department of Health in December 2009.

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